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Govt, int’l partners take stock of progress towards development goals

Laos will continue to work towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in all sectors as well as intensify capacity building and awareness-raising in the area of climate change.
Speaking on Tuesday at the closing ceremony of the Round Table Implementation Meeting 2019, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and Investment, Dr Sonexay Siphandone, said one of the most important goals for Laos was achieving the National SDG titled “Lives Safe from Unexploded Ordnance”.

The meeting took place on November 25-26 in Luang Prabang.
In moving towards graduation from Least Developed Country (LDC) status, a second review of the graduation criteria will be carried out in 2021, Dr Sonexay noted.
Laos is on track to graduate from LDC status in 2024 and currently meets two of the three criteria regarding Gross National Income per capita and the Human Assets Index, while the Economic Vulnerability Index criteria are yet to be achieved, Dr Sonexay said.
This shortcoming was partly caused by the distribution of the planned budget for addressing the impact of natural disasters and rebuilding infrastructure as part of disaster recovery measures, he added.
The Round Table meeting featured a panel discussion on LDC graduation as well as talks on trade, Official Development Assistance, and financing opportunities in the transition period.
Participants discussed key areas which require special attention from the government and development partners, including long-term planning in line with the national budget, improvement of cooperation mechanisms to ensure effective resource mobilisation, and poverty reduction.
The panel discussion centred on the SDG Agenda 2030. Speakers underlined the importance of the engagement of all sectors and integration of the SDGs into the National Socio-Economic Development Plan in line with the Vientiane Declaration Country Action Plan to ensure the effective implementation of development goals.
The Governor of Luang Prabang province, Mr Khamkhan Chanthavisouk, said the province has been working to implement its Socio-Economic Development Plan for 2019 and was preparing the Provincial Socio-Economic Development Plan for 2021–2025.

UN Resident Coordinator in Laos, Ms Sara Sekkenes, said “The Round Table meeting makes it even more clear how important is the linkage between planning and budgeting and the alignment of various planning instruments and priority processes, and better linking national policies and strategies with local-level implementation through provincial and district planning in the context of the Three Builds strategy. These include the LDC transition strategy, Green Growth Strategy and National Disaster Recovery Framework and National Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction, under the overall wireframe of SDGs to be captured in the 9th NSEDP (2021-2025).”  

By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth
(Latest Update November 27, 2019)

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